Political people have noticed the dissonance on Gov. Greg Abbott’s support for local control in the face of the new coronavirus and his disdain for it in recent battles over property taxes, rideshare regulations, paid sick leave and other local policies.
Disasters always test leaders, but a pandemic isn’t a hurricane or a tornado. It doesn’t come and go in a day or a week. It’s not confined to a geographic area. It’s invisible. It preys on the social ties that bind us into communities, cities, a state.
The political caravans depart for other primary election states today, leaving the surviving Texas candidates to sort through the results and get ready for the next stage — the quieter but important runoff elections that will decide who’ll move on to the general election.
Legislative majorities make the rules, and they almost always contend that the rules are there to protect legislative minorities.
Whatever happens in politics this year, however red or blue or purple Texas turns out to be, the state’s longtime emphasis on primary elections has shifted to general elections.
Even the kids in the elected class have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, dreaming at the end of another year what might be next in politics, and for them.
Beto O’Rourke started his campaign for U.S. Senate with the same sad visibility the current troop of Democratic hopefuls is battling today.
By next week, we’ll know who’s going to have a primary. We’ll know who is going to have a fight in November, who’s quitting and who isn’t quitting.
Who would have guessed that sharing political confidences with a political foe — a conversation that upended the speaker of the Texas House — would have real competition for the biggest blunder a House member might make this year?
You’ll know Texas leaders are doing a great job when you hear people in the private sector say they wish their businesses ran like the state government.
Ignore Beto O’Rourke’s misbegotten presidential campaign for a moment, and give the El Paso Democrat his due: He is the reason Texas Democrats are hopeful and Texas Republicans are worried.
Within a few blocks of the Texas Capitol, the metamorphosis of Dennis Bonnen from hero to goat has been the lead topic for weeks, ahead of the president, the Cowboys — everything but the Houston Astros.
While trying to limit the annual growth of property taxes in Texas, the Legislature gave local governments an incentive to raise taxes nearly 8% this year. Maybe it was unintentional, but the state gave the locals a reason to raise property taxes faster than they would have without state action.
It seems safe to say that neither the Texas Legislature nor Republican Party is going to follow Beto O’Rourke’s call for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons.
The Texas Legislature’s once-every-decade quest for new political maps will get a twist in 2021: The Texas House will have either a speaker whose trustworthiness is suspect or a brand-new speaker who’ll be riding in the wake of a scandal.
Texas state Sen. Royce West, as it turns out, does a lot of government business. Not that you’d know that from reading the disclosures he’s required to make as a state lawmaker.
For all of the Republican talk about which GOP legislators are true enough to the conservative flag to deserve reelection next year, the real 2020 elections battle will come after the party primaries are over — in a general election where voters decide which party controls the Texas House.
A school in Texas can fail to meet state education standards for four years before the state shuts it down. A lot of students can go without the education they're due in four years' time.
Add my hometown of El Paso to the list that, in Texas alone, includes Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe — places people were shot where they went to pray, shop and go to school.
Repeated court findings that Texas has intentionally discriminated against minority voters aren’t enough to impose federal oversight when it’s drawing political maps and writing new election and voting laws.
If you were doing to your children what the U.S. government is doing to the children in its custody on the Mexican border, the government might send people to your house to save them. At the least, it’d sound the alarm.
Our elected class — federal division — is spending more time arguing about the mess on the border than fixing the mess on the border.
While we’re celebrating our country’s independence this week, we’re also marking another, darker anniversary: The political crisis of the moment a year ago — family separations and official disregard of migrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico — is still a political crisis today.
A poll nestled between the end of a Texas legislative session and the beginning of what promises to be a tumultuous 2020 election has just the right blend of what happened and what’s next — along with a look at what Texas voters are thinking about. With that setup, here are some talking poin…
The real end of the Texas Legislature’s work this year came on Father’s Day, the deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott to decide which bills passed during the 140-day regular session should become law.
When longtime U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy died in 2009, an irreverent Texas political consultant predicted the people who raise money for the two major political parties would miss the famous Massachusetts Democrat. Democrats loved him and touted him as a champion in their appeals, while Republ…
The biggest change in the Legislature this session was the shift in who lawmakers fear most. Just a few years ago, the tea party put the most conservative factions of the Republican Party in the pilot’s seat. For several sessions, word that those restive activists were watching a vote could …
The buzzword state leaders attached to their school finance and property tax package — “transformative” — is more aspiration than information.
Here at the beginning of a week in which most bills in the Texas Legislature will die, the big priorities set out at the beginning, in January, are still alive: school finance, property tax reform, school safety and responses to Hurricane Harvey.
Are you not bored?
And do you not remember that this is what the governor and legislative leaders promised the people of the great state of Texas in January?
This is the kind of column that could have the shelf life of a ripe banana. It’s that time in a legislative session when things are in flux. Everything could change in an instant, with a change in the demeanor of a key senator or representative.
Texas isn’t going to get any action on property taxes without reforms to school finance, if the latest House maneuver is the barometer.
It doesn’t matter if you start on April Fool’s Day or 18 months ahead of a legislative session. It doesn’t matter if there was only one issue in the last election and voters have kept the heat coming. It matters, but only a little, when there’s a judicial order hanging over them. And it matt…
The desire to keep government open and transparent, so the rest of us can look in there and see what’s going on, is often in tension with the preference for secrecy common to people in high places — or low ones.
In the rush of legislation filed before the March 8 deadline, you wouldn’t be the only one to miss the measure proposing a 6.26 percent state sales tax rate. No reason you should have seen it or made note of it.